Silences: Indigenous Art as
Cultural Expression and Identity Affirmation
My name is Abraham Bradfield; I am a PhD candidate from the University of NSW. I am currently in Broken Hill speaking with members of the local Aboriginal community investigating how art is an expression of identity and culture.
Art is a form of communication and is a way we visualise and speak to our past, present and future worlds. This may be through the stories and narratives told in the work itself; the emotions and feelings it provokes; or through the contexts that surround its creation. Behind each work is a story from which we may learn, come to understand, and hopefully embrace the diverse cultures and lessons that Aboriginal people have to offer.
During my research the vital importance of the Barka (Darling River) has been a reoccurring theme. This body of water is much more than a mere commodity to be pillaged for the sake of industry or profit. It is a source of identity; it is a means of maintaining cultural connection to the past, present and future; it is a provider of food and sustenance; it is spiritual and ancestral – It is life itself.
I am very keen to learn more about the work that is being created by Aboriginal people in Broken Hill as well as the surrounding communities. If you want to participate in the study or know someone who might, please feel free to contact meat: